We had been to the Pike Place Market for so many times we have actually lost count. After a first two visits we thought we had seen everything. When I told a friend that we’re going to the Pike Place Market (again!), I remember him telling me that the place is so boring, nothing to see and do.
This time it is different. This time we were there for a purpose … to learn, to experience and to chow!
I can’t think of anyone who had been to Seattle and had not visited the Pike Place Market. After all, this place is the oldest farmer’s market in the US and is considered the mother of all public markets.
I am going to do this story in two parts. Today, I am going to share with you a little about what we learned at the Pike Place Market. I am going to also describe the Seattle Bites Food Tour. Tomorrow, it will be all about the food at the Pike Place Market … awesome food, and lots of it too.
We had an invite from the Seattle Bites Food Tours to experience the Pike Place Market in a way that is not possible if you are there on your own. When we got the invite we jumped on it. It so happened too that I had to clear my vacation days (which had ballooned to over six weeks).
We went with the primary expectation of tasting the food. What we encountered was beyond our expectations. Not only is this a walking food tour but it is also a historical journey of the Pike Place Market.
The meeting point was at the Seattle Art Museum which is located one block from Pike Place Market. We met Jan Marie Johnson who was our guide for the tour. She is very familiar with the market and knows the merchants very well.
We had a little tour of the Seattle Art Museum where Jan Marie pointed out to us many interesting facts and historical buildings around the Art Museum.
Suanne and I were given personal listening devices. It was particularly useful when walking through the din in the market. What I like is that this allows me to roam away to have a closer look at other stores while at the same time keeping in touch with what is being said.
We were also issued shopping bags in the event we wanted to buy anything from the market or from the places we went to.
The history of the Pike Place Market started way back in the early 1900’s. You know where the exact place where it all began? It was at where the UPS truck you see above. Jan went on to describe (illustrated with old photos) of the early days — I felt that I was there!
Throughout the entire 2.5 to 3 hour tour, Jan Marie brought us through starting with the events leading to the founding of the public market, to the depression era, the expansion years, World War II, the near demolition of the place and to the modern day. It is today a flourishing public market like no other.
We had always wonder about the bronze pig at the entrance of the Pike Place Market. This is Rachel and it’s a real piggy bank. This piggy bank has in it just about every kind of currency in the world.